Shelburne college student presents research at undergraduate conference

Lauren Fay

Virginia Intermont (VI) senior Lauren Fay of Shelburne is racking up the rewards and recognitions as each passing day brings graduation 2012 one step closer. Fay, whose name is well known throughout the college equestrian community, has also proven to be an articulate, bright student in the classroom.

Fay, who will graduate with a double major in history and political science with a U.S. concentration, recently presented her research on General William Henry Draper Jr. and his endorsement of oral contraceptives at the 19th annual Blue Ridge Undergraduate Research Conference (BRURC) held at Maryville College in Maryville, Tenn.  

“I was extremely honored to represent VI as an academic, which I have never done at that level,” said Fay. “It was great experience and practice for me, and that is all I could have asked for.”

Her research evaluated how the Draper Report, which suggested to President Eisenhower that birth control information and oral contraceptives be used as foreign aid to overpopulated countries, ultimately opened the way for women’s rights and the sexual awakening movement of the 1960s and ‘70s. The Draper Report prompted discussions in economics, politics, healthcare, reproductive rights and the environmental movement, and traces of its principles can still be seen in today’s political debates, said Fay.

“I wanted to do research on a topic that combined my interest in history and politics with a subject area that I hadn’t studied yet. It was the research that guided me, and I was fortunate enough to discover a subject that interested me,” said Fay.  

VI professor of political science, Dr. Anne Shumaker, encouraged Fay to submit her research and was impressed by her “dogged pursuit” of information and knowledge.

“This experience provided Lauren an opportunity to share the results of her research with a group of students and academicians who would not only appreciate her efforts, but would challenge her through questions, dialogue and different perspectives on her findings,” said Shumaker. “VI was the only institution in Virginia represented at the BRURC, and I believe that Lauren is the first VI student invited to this event.”

In addition to her success in the academic arena, Fay is closing in on four successful years on VI’s Intercollegiate Horse Show Association (IHSA) and American National Riding Commission’s (ANRC) riding teams. Fay has won a berth to IHSA’s Zone regional competition four times, and twice she has qualified for the National Championship on open flat. She won 6th place at IHSA Nationals as a sophomore and hopes to have repeat stellar performances at the 2012 Championship in Raleigh, N.C. May 3-6. At Nationals, Fay will be competing on the VI team, as well as individually in the open over fences and open flat divisions and as the Cacchione Cup top overall open-division rider. She will also compete in the 35th ANRC Intercollegiate Equitation Championship, April 20-22 in Long Valley, N.J., where approximately 15 college teams from across the U.S. will showcase their most talented riders.

“I’m really proud that I get to represent the College and region on such a prestigious level,” said Fay. “There are great riders in VI’s region and in our Zone, and to be able to get the Cacchione Cup as well as obtain individual honors is extremely exciting for me.”

The next few months for Fay will be busy as she prepares for equine Nationals and graduation, but she is proud to have competed with such a talented group of riders throughout her four years. After graduation, Fay plans to attend graduate school to obtain a specialized degree in security and intelligence.

Comments are closed.